Would it cause our disposable, fast food, instant gratification economic engine to sputter and die? Or would it cause a transformation in buying habits which would bring about new relationships between consumers and those companies which were able to rise to the occasion?
Suppose that our available income were to be cut to a mere trickle compared to last years income. Wouldn’t that make every purchase more significant and every bargain more rewarding?
What about those expenses that we can no longer justify. What happens when we reduce our food budgets and our entertainment budgets and put off buying new clothes.
Perhaps we start getting satisfaction from planning and making do with what we have or from bartering with others to exchange what we do not need for something we really need.
I think that the
best only way to approach this situation of supporting your family on less money is to make a game out of it. Locating bargains and using discount coupons may be absolutely necessary, but these situations can be viewed either as a degrading and undignified imposition or as a challenge to be overcome with skill and good nature.
If you are still stuck in your former high-flying corporate lifestyle, you will be carrying a double burden when it comes to supporting yourself after your unemployment runs out.
Those who can adapt to the lifestyle they find themselves in will probably be more successful in changing it for the better when the opportunity arises.
Is life any poorer when you are not going out for meals every day? I don’t believe so, because in the distant past I used to go out for meals because I was bored or didn’t have time to prepare meals at home. Now I eat at home and enjoy cooking meals occasionally and helping in the kitchen.
There is a real sense of achievement when we adjust our spending to match our income. It is not a trivial matter and it involves hard choices. We can either focus on the "sacrifices" we are making or focus on the upside which is that we are paying as we go and we can take satisfaction in every action that we take to make our lives better.
Possibly the future may hold out the promise that reader Mouse suggests:
I am hopeful that our current economic troubled waters will have some positive effects, that people will learn to be happier with a more modest lifestyle, that some kind of common sense returns to the world of rampant consumerism.
I hope so too. I am working on that approach to life right now. I think it is the best response to the situation we find ourselves in.